Flamingo is owned by Aydin Kharaghani of York St Entertainment and roosts at 380 Elgin, near the corner of Gladstone and Elgin. This location is rumoured to carry a nightclub curse as it has housed several other ill-fated haunts, including SIN and Diesel.
Ottawa’s proudly pink party-goers will no longer wade in the Everglades of Elgin St, as bias-free nightclub Flamingo announced that April 14 will be its last dance after 15 months of operation.
Touted as a stylish alternative where gays and straights could coexist, Flamingo emerged from its egg Jan 28, 2011. Although the feathered establishment featured killer cocktails, elegant décor and performances by world-renowned DJs, Flamingo couldn’t survive in Ottawa’s chilly climate and customers flocked away.
General manager Sebastien Provost announced the club’s closure in an earnest Facebook post April 12.
“The decision was not made lightly but in the end, the business case simply wasn’t there and it became apparent through your feedback that we needed to go in a different direction. In true Flamingo style, we decided to not beet [sic] a dead horse but instead go out with a bang,” Provost wrote.
“I have so many people to thank for the amazing experiences I’ve shared during our time. So many amazing DJ’s and their respective teams, the staff who embodied my vision to provide and create the most memorable experiences, the vendors and most of all you; our customers who came out time and time again to support the club and who made memories I will never forget.”
In an email, co-founder and former event producer Chris Murray divulged that he suspects an organized boycott spearheaded by other Ottawa-area gay bars forced Flamingo’s doors to slam shut.
“Very early on Flamingo was boycotted by certain groups in the gay scene and bashed by others who did not want there to be another option for the gay community in Ottawa,” Murray wrote. “It’s sad that some people will do everything in their power to limit the options available to the community for their own personal reasons and even sadder that in the end it worked.”
Murray severed ties with Flamingo in January of this year to head back into the studio and focus on production work. During his time as the venue’s producer, Murray brought several prolific artists to the capital, including Grammy-winning DJs Hex Hector and David Morales.
If you’d like to say goodbye before Flamingo flies away, migrate to the Golden Triangle April13 and catch the last Drag Race event, hosted by Markida Brown and featuring Gia Corangi in addition to many more local queens. The evening of April 14, original resident DJ Ashley Gauthier returns to the nest to tickle the turntables one final time. Doors open at 10:30pm, and with all drinks discounted to $4, they’re sure to be scooped up like shrimp.